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Pregnancy Related Pelvic Girdle Pain

Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain or PrPGP is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms caused by a stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of your pelvis.

If you consider that pregnancy is about accommodating a growing foetus and preparing for labour, it makes sense the pelvis can be affected! About 20% of pregnant women suffer with Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain, compared to 80% for low back pain.

Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain tends to be more bothersome then most pregnancy related pains, as it limits functional tasks such as walking, sitting, standing and rolling in bed.

There are two main types of Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain:

  1. Sacro-illiac joint (SIJ): SIJ pain often feels like intermittent sharp, stabbing pain on weight bearing, i.e. standing up, or rolling in bed.
  2. Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction (SPD): SPD feels like an intense sharp, stabbing pain at the front of the pelvis. It can significantly impact your ability to move and function.

Both of these conditions can be successfully managed with pelvic physiotherapy. It is important to have a thorough assessment to determine what is contributing to your PrPGP. We use a combination of manual therapy, education, support belts (where required) and exercise therapy to best manage your pain.

What are some reasons why I’m having PrPGP?

Whether or not you’ve given birth before or are going through pregnancy again, pelvic girdle pain can occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common is a history of previous back pain or lower back problems. These complications can arise from everyday stress or worry, to sitting or standing for long periods.

Previous injuries that haven’t been problematic such as high-impact sports including gymnastics and figure skating can lead to pelvic girdle pain because of the trauma that centres within the pelvis. The same can apply to previous childbirth if you had not continued physiotherapy to exercise your pelvic floor muscles before and after your recovery time.

Other contributing issues can also include BMI (Body Mass Index), which has a lot to do with your body fat during your pregnancy. This is determined by your height and weight and will have additional effects on how weight distribution is controlled. This can put more stress on your pelvic joints which will contribute to pelvic girdle pain.

Another, yet lesser-known reason can also be inherited through joint hypermobility, also known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). And while EDS is not nearly as common as the previously mentioned reasons for pelvic girdle pain, it can be treated through physiotherapy just as easily.

How long does it take for PrPGP to go away?

Not everyone is the same when it comes to pelvic girdle pain, so the required physiotherapy treatment and exercise plan will vary depending on the level of pain or discomfort that you are experiencing. How long it takes for the pain to reduce will depend on your physical wellbeing and the issues that you’re experiencing. Physiotherapy is recommended before and after childbirth to optimise your pregnancy and birth experience. Your initial visit to determine the recommended treatment plan will be defined by the type of pelvic girdle pain you’re experiencing.

Are there any at home treatments for PrPGP?

With the right amount of physiotherapy that you receive from our pelvic physiotherapists, you’ll learn how to manage and lessen pelvic girdle pain. At our clinic in Bondi Junction or St Leonards, our helpful team will guide you each step of the way, and offer you additional pelvic physio training through our Bump, Birth, and Beyond services, which are dedicated to improving pregnancy and birth experiences for woman, especially if they are experiencing pelvic pain and other pregnancy-related discomfort.

Our Bump, Birth & Beyond services include; pelvic physio, pregnancy massage and pregnancy exercise classes that will reduce the discomfort from PrPGP and provide the best treatments to improve quality of life with pelvic girdle pain. This can also include how and when to use support belts, which can further relieve these pain issues. We’ll further recommend helpful exercises that you can practice at home which helps continue your therapy through the methods taught in our classes.

This way, you can manage daily discomfort or pain that can occur along the way, and throughout your recovery. Keep in mind that the strengthening of your pelvic floor muscles, which is important for labour preparation, and Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain can be supported together through physio treatments and an exercise plan. What you will learn about managing PrPGP and the recommended exercises are all part of the process to relieve lower back and joint pain.

Book your Bump, Birth & Beyond Pregnancy Assessment today via our online booking portal.

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